Know Your Assignment Requirements
Research Assignment and Instructor Expectations
Completed by due date (the Research Project Calculator can help you plan to finish on time)
Length of finished product
Sources selected and used
Organization and flow of ideas
- Select/define/refine/focus your idea
- 5 Ws (who, what, why, when, where) and how
- Determine if you will be able to cover all the important points of your topic in the space you have to fill
Developing a Search Strategy
Once you have chosen a topic, write it down in the form of a question or brief statement:
What was the influence of the Ottoman Empire on the art & architecture in Venice?
Underline the key words and phrases that are most specific to your topic.
What is the relationship between Ottoman and Venice?
Write down each key word or phrase, and underneath it, list synonyms or related terms.
Use a dictionary or thesaurus to find additional keywords. For example:
|Turkish Turk||Northern Italy||painting architecture sculpture|
Think about the singular, plural, and other endings of words and write down the root of the word.
Art Architecture arts artists church churches basilica
Write down your key words and phrases along with their synonyms in the form of a Boolean search statement. Use the root word, and truncate it with an asterisk (*). Note: Different databases use different truncation or wildcard symbols. Check the database's help page. For example:
(Art or painting or sculpture) and (turk* or ottoman) and (church* basilica)
Find a Book on the Shelves
Check the Status field of the book's record in the catalog.
- IN LIBRARY - book is available for checkout.
- DUE + date - book has already been checked out.
The Location field shows the general location of the book.
- Most books are on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
- For other locations, check the location codes table.
- The Call # field gives the book's call number, which serves as the book's address in the library. Each row of books on the 2nd and 3rd floors will have a sign at the end indicating which call numbers can be found on that row.
How to Read Call Numbers
Scholarly Journals (Peer-Reviewed/Referred)
- Authors are authorities in their fields.
- Authors cite their sources in endnotes, footnotes, or bibliographies.
- Individual issues have little or no advertising.
- Articles must go through a peer-review or refereed process.
- Articles are usually reports on scholarly research.
- Illustrations usually take the form of charts and graphs.
- Articles use jargon of the discipline
Evaluating Print & Electronic Resources
World Wide Web sites come in many sizes and styles. How do you distinguish a site that gives reliable information from one that gives incorrect information? Below are some guidelines to help.
For both print and Internet resources, consider:
Types of Web Sites: the url is a key
- A short guide to writing about art/ Sylvan Barnet.
- Location: Reference N7476 .B37 2011
- Writing about art / Henry M. Sayre
- Location: FLOOR3 BOOK N7476 .S29 2002
- Writing for the visual arts / Mashey Maurice Bernstein.
- Location: FLOOR3 PE479.A76 B47 2001